Lucy Rose: ‘I Never Wanted Anyone Else To Hear My Songs’

Expectations of Lucy Rose’s debut - out this week - are sky high. Harriet Jennings sits down with the singer ahead of ‘Like I Used To’’s release.

Photo Credit: Emma Swann

You know that dream where you wind up naked in front of a room of people? You do. You might be nodding and smiling in a mock understanding manner but mark our words, one day, you will know what we’re talking about. And on that day, you’ll know exactly the way Lucy Rose is feeling when we meet her back stage at Hyde Park.

“Every lyric that I write has to mean something to me, otherwise there’s no point singing about it,” Rose shrugs as we sit in her dressing room, belting out words at a hundred miles an hour. “I started writing songs for myself as a release for how I felt. Some people write a diary and some people talk to their friends about it. I don’t really do either of those things. I don’t really like talking about my emotions, funnily enough, so songwriting was my first way of making myself feel better and expressing myself. I never wanted anyone else to hear them, it was like writing a diary. It was only after my sister starting eavesdropping and hearing them that I was brave enough to play them to people.”

Not quite the sentiment you might expect from someone who’s on the verge of releasing their debut album, stepping out from behind the backing singer role that initially brought her to most people’s attention, having lent her stunning vocals to Bombay Bicycle Club for a smattering of appearances across the band’s most recent two albums. But then that’s Lucy Rose. She’s not quite what you might expect on first glance, and she’ll not thank you for your stereotyping either.

“I think it’s very easy for people, for some reason, when they see girls to clump them all together and say we all sound the same. Whereas with boys, no one does that. No one goes, ‘oh, there’s a boy with a guitar there so he must sound like Bob Dylan and The Beatles and The Beach Boys because they all have guitars and sing’. That’s how I feel people look at girls. Because we’re a girl and we play an instrument, we sound like each other, which is ridiculous. Hopefully the more that female singer-songwriters come out in the industry and the more successful they become, the less than will happen.”

Strong minded and firm yet undeniably vulnerable, in person Lucy Rose is every ounce her album, and as such, it’s easy to anticipate a bit of anxiety. “Whenever I play a new song, it’s difficult,” she admits. “This album, I’m putting all of myself and everything that I’ve felt for the past few years into it, and people are going to judge it. They’re either going to like it, they’re not going to like it, or they’re not going to think anything of it. So of course I’m nervous. It’s like a child. It’s like if your child goes to school and people think it’s geeky but you love it just the way it is and it’s part of you.”

Like family photograph day, we imagine Lucy trying out different styles in order to find just the right combination. Do we want everyone in this one? What about the dog? Naturally, the answer to both was a resounding yes, with guest spots for both her “tone deaf” sister and their pet confirmed, but seemingly she would’ve never wanted it any other way.

“The recording at my parents’ home was because I was unsigned and had no money and I was self-funding an album. I either did it at home or I got out a massive loan and put myself in debt and do it in a studio. It wasn’t really like we had much choice, but I absolutely loved every minute of it. It was the only place in the world that I’d want to record my album, and I feel very lucky that it worked out and it sounded right. It wasn’t high budget, it wasn’t soundproof, there’s a lot of sound from outside on it. It wasn’t perfect but I think that’s the reason that I love it.”

With glowing reviews already appearing and an avid following thanks to a gargantuan list of live appearances, all that’s left for Lucy to do is think less ‘Like I Used To’ and more toward the future. Luckily, she’s been doing just that. “I’m thinking about my next album,” she confirms. “I still want to work with the same musicians if that’s ok and I’d love to work with Charlie [Hugall], the producer, again. I have definite ideas about what I want songs to be. I’m excited to experiment with different ideas. I don’t really want to give the game away about what I want or expect to do.”

Lucy Rose’s debut album ‘Like I Used To’ is out now via Columbia / Sony.

Taken from the September 2012 issue of DIY, available now. For more details click here.

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